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Prevent Track and Field Injuries this Spring


Track and field is a huge sport many athletes around the country participate in during the spring. Although it’s not a contact sport, injuries still happen. Track and field offers a large variety of events for athletes to partake in such as running, throwing and jumping. Each of these events can lead to several different injuries, mainly due to overuse. However, there are many ways you can prevent yourself from getting injured this track and field season. Below are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk for injury. 

How to Prevent Track and Field Injuries

Wear Properly Fitted Shoes

Improper footwear can cause a number of injuries, including ankle sprains and fractures. The correct fitting shoe helps your ankle joints stay stable, and can help lessen the impact of heavy landings on your feet. A good rule to also follow is getting new sneakers every 300-500 miles or every new season to provide your fee with adequate protection.

Warm-Up Drills

To help prevent injuries, improve your running form and increase speed, there are certain warm-ups you need to perform. Toe walking, heel walking, high knees, butt kicks, rhythm skips, quick skips and bounding are all proper warm-up drills that you need to do before you practice or compete. But first make sure you start your warm-up with an easy jog and light stretching.


All track and field athletes should start training slowly and gradually progress as the season goes on. If you’re a runner, your duration and intensity should increase about 5-10% each week. It’s also good to switch up your workouts during the week, but make sure you’re also giving yourself time to rest to stay healthy.

Gait Analysis

Gait analysis measures your body movements, body mechanics and the activity of your muscles. Having your track and field gait looked at can help prevent different injuries, especially if you’re a distance runner. It’ll reveal how you’ll hold up during training and ultimately perform.

Strength Training

A great way to prevent injuries in track athletes is strength training. Strength training is used to strengthen the muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments to increase muscle mass. It helps increase your speed, strength, agility and muscular endurance, which helps build up your resistance to injury.

Proper Form

Before any track and field event, you should always be aware of your form. Not having the correct form can lead to injuries. The more you work on your technique the better.

Cool Down

You should always take time after your event or practice to properly stretch and cool down. Each stretch should at least be held for 30 seconds, stretching out your hamstrings, quads, calves and back muscles.

Stay Hydrated and Eat a Healthy Diet

You should always be aware that you’re burning calories during practice. In order to perform better and avoid injuries, you should be replenishing what you lose. Staying hydrated and eating healthy can help. Every 15-20 minutes of exercise, you should be taking in six to eight ounces of fluid. You should also be eating a well balanced diet filled with protein, fruits, vegetables and dairy.

Find a Sports Medicine Provider in NJ

If you’ve injured yourself due to a track and field injury, schedule an appointment at RWJ Physician Enterprise. Our sports medicine providers can help you get back to your active lifestyle quickly and safely. Contact us for more information!

How to Beat Spring Allergies


Did you know springtime allergies could start as early as February and last until late summer? Don’t let itchy eyes or a constant runny nose take over your life this spring. Prevent symptoms by taking control of your allergies before they take full effect. Find some relief with these tips on how to beat springtime allergies.

Take Allergy Medicine

The best way to beat allergies this spring is to take allergy medication. However, it might take a little trial and error to find the best medicine for you. Allergy drugs like antihistamines help block your body’s response to allergies. They can help if you’re sneezing, have a runny nose or with itchy eyes. Decongestants can also help relieve uncomfortable allergy symptoms, especially a stuffy nose.

But if your allergies are more severe, your doctor may recommend allergy shots. Allergy shots can help you build up a resistance to pollen, as the injections contain a little bit of the pollen itself. Your body will build up a defense system that keeps pollen from causing your symptoms.

Restrict Your Time Outside

In the spring, billions of pollen grains are released into the air by trees. With all that pollen in the air it’s easy to breathe them into your nose and lungs, triggering an allergic reaction. Limiting your time outside can help you avoid the constant sniffling and irritated eyes. It doesn’t mean you have to hibernate and stay inside all spring. It just means you should stay in when the pollen count is the highest, which is during the early morning hours and on windy days.

When you do go outside, you should take the necessary precautions so your allergies don’t get out of control. It’s best to wear glasses or sunglasses to keep the pollen out of your eyes. If you’re working outside in the garden or mowing the lawn try wearing a filter mask to protect yourself from inhaling harmful allergens. Once you go back inside, take off your shoes and make sure you head right to the shower! Wash your hair out and change into new clothes so you don’t bring the pollen inside with you.

Make Changes Around Your House

Changes around your house can make a huge difference when it comes to allergies. Instead of opening your windows to let cool air in just turn on the air conditioning. Also avoid using a window fan, which can suck pollen inside. Shutting your windows all together can help you keep out the pollen in your house.

Most importantly thoroughly clean your house. Cleaning your floors with a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA), which trap 99.97% of microscopic particles in the air. This will help keep your house allergy free and prevent any symptoms from popping up. Also, if you’re doing laundry, don’t line dry your clothes when it’s warm out. If they’re hanging outside they’ll just collect pollen, which can enter your house and get all over your furniture and bedding.

Cut Back on Foods that Make Allergies Worse

Certain types of food can actually make your pollen allergies worse, including melons, bananas, cucumbers, sunflower seeds and chamomile. While cutting back and making your diet more allergen friendly, be careful to look for even the slightest of food tolerances that can bring on your symptoms. Eliminating foods that you are sensitive to will ease the toll they take on your immune system.

Allergy Relief in New Jersey

Prevent and treat your allergies at RWJPE. Our family medicine providers are the first line of defense against your allergy symptoms. Our providers are located all throughout the Central New Jersey region for your convenience. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and beat your allergies in time for spring.

5 Tips to Improve Sleep for Kids and Teens by Priyanka Yadav, DO

by jp-rwj-admin

There are a series of consequences to sleep deprivation in young adults.  According to Priyanka Yadav, DO and RWJPE Sleep Medicine Specialist, those who are not getting enough sleep (8-10 hours a night according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for teenagers 13-18 years old), run the risk of the following:

  • Mood disorders
  • Drowsy driving
  • Impairment of attention and working memory
  • Obesity

So what can you do to help kids and teens sleep better? Dr. Yadav suggests these top 5 tips, some of which apply not only for our teens but for the parents as well.

  1. Set a strict sleep schedule 7 days a week with an adequate amount of time to sleep.  In this case it should be 8-10 hours of sleep.  
  2. No electronics in the bedroom!  No phone, social networking, instant messaging, computer TV, digital music device or any other distractions in the bedroom.
  3. Keep room a cool and dark environment.
  4. Try to push for later school start times.  We are short changing our kids when it comes to sleep and it is manifesting in more obesity and mental disorders in kids.
  5. If simple hygiene changes are not helping then talk to your primary care doctor or pediatrician about a possible sleep disorder.  Obstructive sleep apnea, Insomnia, Narcolepsy and restless legs are common sleep disorders seen in kids.  Some of these require a overnight sleep study in a sleep lab to be evaluated. 

If you are concerned about sleep issues, or if you are looking for a primary care team that will help you manage your family's health, please visit www.rwjpe.com/FindaDoctor to find a physician that’s right for you. 

Introduction of RWJ Barnabas Health

by jp-rwj-admin

Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System announced last week the completion of the merger of their two health systems to form the most comprehensive health system in the state of New Jersey – RWJBarnabas Health. To learn more, visit www.rwjbhinfo.org

1 in 4 Americans with Diabetes are unaware they have it

by jp-rwj-admin

According to the American Diabetes Association and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 29 million Americans, or 9% of the U.S. population, are affected by diabetes.  Could you be one of the 7 million Americans that has diabetes and doesn’t know it? 

The 4th Tuesday of March is recognized as American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which occurs every year with the goal of raising awareness about the risk factors for diabetes, and taking the proper steps to diagnose and treat it early.  Early diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes can help prevent or delay the onset of complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, as well as problems with your eyes and feet. 

For people who are 45 or older, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, healthcare professionals recommend scheduling a visit with your primary care physician to talk about your risk factors and discuss getting tested for pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. 

Jackie Plick, RN, BSN, MA, ANP-C is an experienced diabetes educator and Manager of Care Coordination for RWJ Partners who works closely with the RWJ Physician Enterprise practices to develop educational programs, tailored care plans and coordinated care for those with diabetes.  She offers this advice:  “So many times patients see their doctor and haven’t experienced any symptoms, yet the tests reveal they are pre-diabetic.  Once we know what we are dealing with, we can create a care plan that allows a patient to slowly and safely reduce their weight by making simple modifications to their diet, and start incorporating exercise into their daily routine.  Often through these basic steps, we can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes and make a difference in their health and wellness.”  

Plick goes on to say, “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for patients to schedule their annual check-ups with their primary care physician.  Don’t just visit your doctor’s office when you’re sick.  Get familiar with your risk factors.  Do your best to maintain a healthy weight, and talk to your doctor about how you can prevent many of the common health problems like diabetes that are plaguing our society.”

With more than 120 providers throughout Central New Jersey, RWJPE physicians and their staff are eager to work with patients to create lifestyle changes that can help improve overall health and decrease the risk of future health complications.  If you are concerned about your risk for developing diabetes, or if you are looking for a primary care team that will help you manage your diabetes, please visit www.rwjpe.com/FindaDoctor to find a physician that’s right for you. 

Robotic Surgery Healthtalk featuring Craig Rezac, MD and Dhiren Dave, MD

by jp-rwj-admin

RWJPE Locations Wear Red for Heart Awareness

RWJPE Locations Wear Red for Heart Awareness

by jp-rwj-admin

Check out the images from RWJPE Wear Red Day on our Facebook Page.  All funds raised during the month of February will be donated to the American Heart Association in loving memory of our colleague RoseMarie Lustbader.

View our Facebook Album

Reverse shoulder surgery helps patients with arthritis and other degenerative conditions

Reverse shoulder surgery helps patients with arthritis and other degenerative conditions

by jp-rwj-admin

Thanks to the many medical advances we have available in our country, life expectancy has increased dramatically over the years. While this is terrific news, it also means that as our society lives longer, we live with chronic diseases and conditions that often significantly impact our quality of life as we age. One example of this includes individuals who suffer from shoulder arthritis and rotator cuff problems, primarily caused by degeneration over time. What once was a limited decision of whether or not to replace the joint has seen another medical advance that presents an exciting alternative.

Reverse shoulder surgery essentially "reverses" the normal shoulder mechanics that would eliminate the need for a functioning rotator cuff. By reversing the ball and cup, a newly designed prosthetic cup would sit on the ball, thus providing more stability and allowing the large deltoid muscle to provide the motion. These design advances over the past 15 years have resulted in increased range of motion and increased stability never before seen in patients without a functioning rotator cuff.

Dr. James Tovey, an orthopaedist with RWJ Physician Enterprise located in Hillsborough, is among a few surgeons in the area who has been successfully performing this surgery on a variety of patients for the past six years. Not only has he found this surgery to be effective for patients with arthritis and other degenerative conditions, but Dr. Tovey has expanded its application to include people with severe fractures of the proximal humerus (commonly known as a broken shoulder, most likely due to a trauma such as a fall), where the traditional plate and screw technique would not provide the desired range of motion. Not only is this surgery an advanced approach to a complicated condition in one of the most complex joints in the body, but with developments in anesthetic techniques, Dr. Tovey also has perfected it to the point of performing this procedure on select patients as an outpatient or same day surgery.

Charlotte Wood, 81, a resident of Newton, traveled more than one hour each way to see Dr. Tovey several years ago. Initially, Wood was seeing a different orthopedist for what she thought was a bad back. After months of little relief and now bound to a wheelchair, she was referred to Dr. Tovey, who determined that she had a broken hip that had gone untreated and was the source of her pain. He not only repaired her fractured hip, but subsequently did a full replacement of the other hip.

It was when Wood went back for a follow up that Dr. Tovey observed she was not using her shoulder. "I had pain in that shoulder for years, but I was told there's nothing that can be done," Wood said. "He took X-rays, gave me a shot for the pain, and ordered an MRI. He then explained this reverse shoulder procedure that might fix it." Wood also said that "Dr. Tovey warned me I was the first patient he would be performing this surgery on, but I trusted him so much I told him to go ahead."

Wood recalls the appointment when she returned after the shoulder surgery. Dr. Tovey asked how she was doing. "When I put my arm straight up over my head, Dr. Tovey got a big smile on his face. I tell you ... I hadn't held my arm up like that in years," she said. "Lots of doctors are good, but their staff isn't always so nice, and sometimes you have to wait an hour or more to see the doctor. In Dr. Tovey's office, the staff always accommodated me whenever I needed to see him. Everyone was pleasant, and the wait was never long. I tell everyone I know that Dr. Tovey is the best."

Dr. James Tovey's office is located at 751 Route 206 N, Suite 101, Hillsborough. Conveniently located near the RWJ PE Urgent Care Center.

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Dr. Eric Brezina named to list of NJ's Favorite Kids' Docs for 2015

by jp-rwj-admin

Congratulations to Dr. Eric Brezina of RWJPE Comprehensive Family Medicine in Warren for being named to NJ Family's list of Favorite Kids' Doctors for 2015. 

Recent article explores the dilemma of screening and early detection of prostate cancer

by jp-rwj-admin
Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death of men in the United States accounting for 30,000 deaths annually. Fewer men are being screened for prostate cancer, and fewer early-stage cases are being detected. The number of cases has dropped not because the disease is becoming less common but because there is less effort to find it. Learn more about this dilemma here, and we encourage you to contact your physician to discuss his or her professional recommendation for what's best for you: http://nyti.ms/1X2R5xN